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Elk Rifle for KY? Login/Join 
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Picture of redlickranch
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Hit the KY Elk Lotto and won a BULL Tag this fall. My deer rifle over the past few years has either been a .243 or an Armalite 7.62x39 AR.

Looking for a new Rifle and was thinking Browning BAR or Benelli R1 Semi Auto. Don't really want anything over a 7mm Rem mag due to recoil. Also not looking to shoot over 300 yards. Leaning towards 308, 30-06 or 7mm Rem. I can't find either the R1 or a BAR in any of the gun shops here. Bass Pro, Cabelas or Academy so was hoping to pick the brains of anyone with one of these rifles.

How do you like them and more importantly how do you like lugging it around all day in the woods?

Thanks in advance.


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Posts: 649 | Location: Bluegrass State GO CARDS!!! | Registered: July 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
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quote:
Originally posted by redlickranch:
Hit the KY Elk Lotto and won a BULL Tag this fall. My deer rifle over the past few years has either been a .243 or an Armalite 7.62x39 AR.

Looking for a new Rifle and was thinking Browning BAR or Benelli R1 Semi Auto. Don't really want anything over a 7mm Rem mag due to recoil. Also not looking to shoot over 300 yards. Leaning towards 308, 30-06 or 7mm Rem. I can't find either the R1 or a BAR in any of the gun shops here. Bass Pro, Cabelas or Academy so was hoping to pick the brains of anyone with one of these rifles.

How do you like them and more importantly how do you like lugging it around all day in the woods?

Thanks in advance.


I have a 30-06 but honestly between the 3 calibers you listed, I doubt you or an elk will know the difference within 300 yards.


If you are lugging it around the woods and weight is a concern I would go with a 308 or 30-06 in a light mountain rifle bolt action configuration and stoke it with premium quality ammo with heavy bullets. 30-06 has a bit more legs with heavy bullets than the 308 but either will get you there.


I used to split fine hairs in ballistic performance when it came to buying rifles. Not anymore. If you are throwing a 180-220gr bullets +- 200 fps that elk will never know the difference. Get the one with cheaper ammo so you can practice more and then have an absolute rock solid 100% certain zero with your premium hunting ammo.
 
Posts: 13232 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rule #1: Use enough gun
Picture of Bigboreshooter
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30-06 is more than enough gun for elk out to 300 yards. Just make sure to use good bullets, preferably on the heavy side. In 30-06 I would use a Nosler Partition, Barnes X-Bullet, or any of the bonded core bullets in 180-200 grains. Elk are tough critters with pretty heavy bones. You want to make sure to get adequate penetration, and preferably an exit wound.



When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21


"Every nation in every region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." -- George W. Bush

 
Posts: 14426 | Location: Birmingham, Alabama | Registered: February 25, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A 308 at 300 is plenty. Any of the calibers will do, but why take the beating of 7mm if you dont have to, besides 308 is cheap and plentiful...and short action. Elk arent mythicl beasts. Id even venture to say that the .243 with a proper bullet would work under 300 yards.


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Posts: 7222 | Location: One step ahead of you | Registered: February 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'd lean -06 personally for the versatility of bullet weights and charges. As for the rifle either listed will be fine but its really up to you. They are both very close on weight and if you aren't a fan of recoil you'll want some weight on your rifle.
 
Posts: 1702 | Location: Western Wa | Registered: March 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Did not know that Kentucky actually had elk...I figured deer, maybe bear,turkeys, boar and whatnot.
 
Posts: 961 | Registered: January 21, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rule #1: Use enough gun
Picture of Bigboreshooter
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quote:
Originally posted by blasto:
Did not know that Kentucky actually had elk...I figured deer, maybe bear,turkeys, boar and whatnot.

They reintroduced elk into the Land Between The Lakes region quite a few years ago. The populations are doing well enough to allow for some limited hunting on a permit/drawing basis.



When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21


"Every nation in every region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." -- George W. Bush

 
Posts: 14426 | Location: Birmingham, Alabama | Registered: February 25, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picked up used Savage 110 on a whim a while back. Hardly weighs anything at all. Good hunting.

 
Posts: 2227 | Registered: May 30, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tikka T3 in 7mm mag. All you need and nothing you don't. Great triggers out of the box. Very accurate and light weight. Recoil is tolerable. All around great rifle. Great value for the money.
 
Posts: 257 | Location: Bluegrass State | Registered: February 09, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Bigboreshooter:
quote:
Originally posted by blasto:
Did not know that Kentucky actually had elk...I figured deer, maybe bear,turkeys, boar and whatnot.

They reintroduced elk into the Land Between The Lakes region quite a few years ago. The populations are doing well enough to allow for some limited hunting on a permit/drawing basis.


The Elk Qouta Hunting permits aren't for LBL. 20+ years ago elk were reintroduced in several counties in the Eastern Kentucky Mountain region. It seems that the reclaimed land from mountaintop removal coal mines make excellent elk habitat. The first elk that were relocated in that region were brought east from Colorado & New Mexico in the early 90's.
The man most responsible for this highly successful program was a well known real estate developer and avid big game hunter, Tom Baker. He was the President of the Kentucky chapter of the "Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation". I knew him as I taught and coached two of his sons as a high school science teacher and football coach. The elder son took me on a tour of his dad's "Trophy Room" once...it was an experience I'll never forget. This Trophy Room was an addition to their house that was a house unto itself; far larger than my own house! He had trophy mounts for most any African big game species you could think of, even had a head and shoulder mount of an elephant! Cape buffalo, lion, leopard, kudu, Impala, all manner of antelope...and this was his Africa wing! His North America wing had scores of whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn, elk, moose, caribou, and at least one each of cougar, black, brown, and polar bear. It was something that I would only expect to see in a natural history museum, not in a private collection. Totally mind boggling!
Sadly Tom Baker died suddenly in December of 2016. The elder son (Matt) that I coached came back into my classroom a couple of months ago to visit with me (he had heard that I was retiring after 30 years of teaching) and immediately commanded the attention of everyone in the room. That's the effect that a 6'5" Marine in Dress Blues has as he enters any room! He is going to be chief recruiter for the Louisville recruiting area. He had just made Gunnery Seargent. He has 12 years behind him and is looking towards 8 more years till retirement. We reminisced about the tour he gave me of his dad's "Trophy Room". Matt asked about my son (2 years younger than Matt, but they played football together in high school) and just briefly touched on the subject of his dad's passing. His dad would be so proud!
 
Posts: 250 | Registered: July 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would get a bolt-action in 30-06, or even 308 and sight in with quality bullets. I do have two Browning BAR rifles, like them, but the trigger will or can be, better on the bolt. We all know that it’s that 1st aimed shot anyway.

KY has the best Elk herd of the Eastern States, limited predators helps a bunch. In WI the wolves & bears kill most of the calves.

A relative and I hunted Elk in CO a few years back, 30-06 & 300WSM. It was one shot each with the two bulls. It may sound like blasphemy, but I used a handloaded 165 grain Gameking in my 300WSM. I’m a stickler for shot placement.

If you don’t know exactly where to go for KY Elk, I’m sure a local guide would help, check references. The work starts when the Elk is down, have friends on speed dial. Have a great time, one of the best meats too.
 
Posts: 3525 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rule #1: Use enough gun
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sig239dlehr, thanks for the correction and explanation above.



When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. Luke 11:21


"Every nation in every region now has a decision to make.
Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." -- George W. Bush

 
Posts: 14426 | Location: Birmingham, Alabama | Registered: February 25, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I may fall back to a bolt, but I was kind of wanting a semi-auto like a BAR. I am leaning towards 30-06 since I have a bunch of Garand ammo to practice with. I just picked up a VX-1 4x12x40 scope and leaning towards the Hornady SST Superformance 150 grain ammo.

I just hired a guide on Monday so just need to decide on the rifle.


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Posts: 649 | Location: Bluegrass State GO CARDS!!! | Registered: July 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you go bolt gun, the Tikka is where its at for the best performance to value ratio.

At 300 yards max Id be shooting a heavier bullet, you don't really need the velocity advantage a lighter bullet gives you at 300 but a heavier bullet is always welcomed.

https://www.midwayusa.com/prod...-lead-free-box-of-20


Barnes and Nosler have pretty much become my defecto hunting bullets. Except in 308, in which a 155 Scenar performs unexpectedly well.


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Posts: 7222 | Location: One step ahead of you | Registered: February 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Constable
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Use a quality , heavy bullet. Bigbore Shooter hit the nail on the head. Use a NP, or one of the bonded bullets. The Hornady 150 is NOT what You want. Forget about flat shooting, BC's or anything other than TOUGH and HEAVY for caliber.

This is a hunt of a lifetime, skimping on bullets to save what? Maybe a DOLLAR? Makes little sense.

FWIW I'm not an armchair elk hunter, I have killed over a dozen.
 
Posts: 5943 | Location: Craig, MT | Registered: December 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Congrats on drawing a Ky elk tag, I think that probably falls under the definition of a once in a lifetime draw.

If Eli want a BAR then by all means get one, it’s a special hunt so there’s really no better excuse to drop some coin on a new rifle.

30-06 is more than enough to kill an elk, I’ve shot several with 270 and 30-06. I like something with a 180g petition or a 200g trophy bonded bear claw, I usually look at federal red box stuff, it’s always served me well.

Do you have a good backpack for picking out your kill? How about good hiking boots? I’ve never hunted in Kentucky but I have hunted in West Virginia and I though it was going to be flat and easy....nope.

These days I think I’d rather get by with a cheaper rifle but excellent boots and backpack rather than the other way around.

Good luck, let us know what gun you get and it would be awesome to see some pics of the hunt and read your hunt report.
 
Posts: 4742 | Location: Alaska | Registered: June 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
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quote:
Originally posted by FN in MT:
Use a quality , heavy bullet. Bigbore Shooter hit the nail on the head. Use a NP, or one of the bonded bullets. The Hornady 150 is NOT what You want. Forget about flat shooting, BC's or anything other than TOUGH and HEAVY for caliber.

This is a hunt of a lifetime, skimping on bullets to save what? Maybe a DOLLAR? Makes little sense.

FWIW I'm not an armchair elk hunter, I have killed over a dozen.



Based on my experience with the Hornady SST, I certainly agree with FN in MT.

I shot a good sized whitetail doe with one, and while it absolutely hammered her, the bullet came apart, core and jacket separated. It was only a 50 yard shot out of a 30-06 so the bullet was moving pretty fast, but that is not a bullet I would select for Elk. Mine was a 165 SST, not the 150. I would expect the 150 would fare a little worse in similar circumstances.


You want a very tough bullet that is going to hold together. The Swift Scirocco II bullet is a VERY tough bullet. The Nosler Partition is a classic and it just flat works.

With the exception of varmints, when I am hunting, I want a heavy for caliber bullet. Don't chase velocity. Chase terminal performance.
 
Posts: 13232 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Non-Miscreant
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quote:
Originally posted by newmexican:
I though it was going to be flat and easy....nope.



We call 'em flatlanders around here. Big Grin

We're starting to see them as roadkill now. 'cept they're bigger than a horse and don't usually cause fenderbenders. Most likely they wrap the front bumper around the rear bumper.

Since you don't already have the rifle, check out the Brownings with the muzzle break. Significantly reduces recoil. Adds just a little weight. All at the expense of noise, because it really makes it. The idea being you can take a step up in power and one down in recoil. Not stay the same, but actually drops it. The critter never hears the blast if you do your job.

Back to the flatlander thing. Got any idea why they call us hillbillies? Its not because of the rolling hills around Lexington. That's kind of flatlands. They built it there because they could get the barns to stick to the hillside there.


Unhappy ammo seeker
 
Posts: 16292 | Location: Kentucky, USA | Registered: February 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If getting an elk tag is so rare, I'd probably focus on what type of rifle I'd like to own vs. an "elk rifle."

Something in .308 and something I'd enjoy shooting at the range. AR10 variant? Entry level precision bolt gun?




“People have to really suffer before they can risk doing what they love.” –Chuck Palahnuik

The world's a dangerous place, we can help! http://portlandfirearmtraining.com/
 
Posts: 3819 | Location: Oregon | Registered: October 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of redlickranch
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Thanks for the heads up on ammo. Going with a Remington 700 ADL in 7mm Rem Mag that my father had that has a VX 2 4x12x40 scope. Can't find a Browning BAR to at least look at so going to pass.

Just need to pick up some ammo and begin to practice.

I already have some nice hiking boots and the outfitter is packing out any kill so no need for a haul pack. Thanks for all the advice.


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Posts: 649 | Location: Bluegrass State GO CARDS!!! | Registered: July 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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